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    What’s the Difference Between Networking and Marketing?

    Networking and marketing are two words which are used together a lot these days. One often gives the other a bad reputation and the other is frequently misunderstood. That brings us to, exactly what are the differences between networking and marketing and how do they relate to each other?

    What Does Networking Involve? 

    Networking in this day and age can actually be considered part of 'marketing' and therefore it's vital to understand WHAT networking is and why it is so important to small business owners as part of their overall marketing strategy.

    Think of networking as making friends. They probably won't end up being your best buddies, but more of the sort of people you’re not afraid to ring up for advice. In our world of ‘it’s who you know that matters,’ developing a business network is vital.

    When you network with other business owners, you:

    • Find out about what they offer or sell
    • Discuss ways in which you can help each other
    • Offer support and advice from your own experiences
    • Have a mutually beneficial relationship
    • Look to your network to help introduce you to others in your industry.

    What Does Marketing Involve? 

    We will keep things simple and say that in business, you are selling your products or your services. When you are marketing, one of your goals is to try and convince others to buy your products or your services. Marketing is usually carried out to a group of people, rather than just one person (though not always). Think of advertisements on TV. They are hoping to persuade more than just you to buy something.

    Marketing involves:

    • Keeping good stories about your brand circulating
    • Look after your brand’s reputation
    • Selling your products or services to a group of individuals at one time
    • Advertising
    • Networking!
    • ... and much more (to be continued in another blog!)

    So as you can see, marketing is so much more than selling and here is where things get a bit blurry. Selling is you trying to sell a specific thing to a specific person. It can be done face to face, in an email or on the phone. Some people think that marketing is 'just selling' and often these same people think networking is also 'just selling'. And this is how networking can get a bad name.

    And What About Network Marketing?

    Then just as you think you are beginning to understand networking and marketing, we’ll throw in network marketing. This is all about using the people you know to sell your products or services. Think about Tupperware, Avon, Le Reve and Scentsy. These businesses charge you for a start-up kit and then for each sale you make, you get a percentage of the profit. Often you are encouraged to sign up others to sell ‘underneath you’ and are rewarded financially for each sale they make. Network marketing is not pyramid selling, but rather you building up a group of people who you sell to and who refer others to buy from you too.

    Network NZ is about networking. We’re not here to recruit you to sell things for us. Nor are we here as somewhere you can go hard out promoting your products or services. Network NZ is about business owners helping other business owners. We’d love you to become one of our Foundation Members, so head over and find out the benefits we can offer you today!

    If you are a small business owner in NZ, please join our FREE biz support group.

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